Netflix is partnering with Microsoft for its upcoming ad-supported streaming tier, the company announced Wednesday. The streaming service says Microsoft will become its “global advertising technology and sales partner” upon rolling out the cheaper option.
“It’s very early days and we have a lot to work through,” Netflix COO Greg Peters writes in the post. “But our long-term goal is clear. More choice for consumers and a premium, better-than-linear TV brand experience for advertisers. We’re excited to work with Microsoft as we bring this new service to life.”
We’re thrilled Netflix has selected Microsoft as its advertising technology and sales partner. We want publishers to have more long-term viable ad monetization platforms, so more people can access the content they love wherever they are. https://t.co/QmPszxJTOf
— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) July 13, 2022
In a post on Microsoft’s blog, the company says marketers will work with Microsoft to bring ads to the Netflix ecosystem. “Today’s announcement also endorses Microsoft’s approach to privacy, which is built on protecting customers’ information,” Mikhail Parakhin, Microsoft’s president of web experiences, says. Outside of Netflix, Microsoft is also reportedly looking into bringing ads to free-to-play Xbox games.
Netflix first hinted at a cheaper, ad-supported tier in May and later confirmed the possibility last month. Although Netflix hasn’t announced an official date for the tier’s rollout, it’s rumored to become available to customers by the end of 2022. News of Netflix’s ad-supported tier emerged after the company revealed a decrease in subscribers for the first time in a decade last quarter, topping out at 222 million globally. The company is also exploring livestreaming and ways to clamp down on password-sharing to help mitigate a decline in subscribers and revenue.
Choosing Microsoft recalls a close relationship between the two for streaming launches. The first version of Watch Instantly that streamed mostly B-movies used Microsoft’s Silverlight technology to deliver video instead of the more common Flash Player until it was replaced by HTML5, and the Xbox 360 was the first console with an HD Netflix streaming app.